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Fair Housing &

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  1. Fair Housing & Section 504 Dept. of Housing & Urban Development

  2. Fair Housing Laws Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Fair Housing Act of 1968; and as Amended in 1988 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

  3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Found at 24 CFR Part 8 • Prohibits Discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving Federal Financial assistance from HUD

  4. FAIR HOUSING Fair Housing: Its Not an Option IT’S THE LAW

  5. Fair Housing Act • What housing is Covered? • What are the protected classes? • What does that mean?

  6. Protected Classes Race Disability Color Source of Income Religion National Origin Sex (Gender) Familial Status

  7. Fair Housing Cases 10,000+ Cases filed Nationwide last year 40% Accessibility 40% Race Utah – 65 Cases Closed 2009 6 Cause Cases, 26 No Cause, 30 Settled 3 closed Administratively Utah – Accessibility & Familial Status

  8. “Familial Status” Persons under the age of 18 living with: A parent or legal custodian The designee of a parent or custodian with written permission Pregnant Women Persons in the process of securing legal custody

  9. NO NATIONAL OCCUPANCY POLICY

  10. Familial Status:OCCUPANCY STANDARDS adopt reasonable occupancy standards to limit the number of persons who can reside in a unit

  11. Familial Status: OCCUPANCY STANDARDS adopt occupancy standards (1) to exclude families with children (2) unreasonably limit the ability of families with children to obtain housing

  12. TWO PERSONS/BEDROOM Special Circumstances • Size of bedrooms and unit • Age of children • Configuration of unit • Other physical limitations • of housing • 5. State and local law

  13. Familial Status Rules and Regulations limiting or pertaining to children only 1. Curfews 2. Play area restrictions 3. Dwelling units – restrictions on where can live – not on 3rd floor, limited buildings

  14. Definition of a Person with Disability • Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or regarded as having such impairment • Doesn’t include - Current drug use and alcohol abuse or • Direct threat to health and safety

  15. Persons with Disabilities Major Life Activities: • Seeing Hearing • Walking Breathing • Learning Speaking • Performing Manual Taking Care of Tasks one’s self

  16. Discrimination Prohibited • No qualified person with a Disability shall, solely on the basis of disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives Federal Financial assistance

  17. Reasonable Accommodations • A reasonable accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces

  18. Reasonable Accommodations • For an accommodation to be reasonable there must be an identifiable relationship or nexus between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability • The requested accommodation must remedy the disabled individual's inability to use and enjoy the dwelling

  19. What is Reasonable? • The requested accommodation must be reasonable: *Does not impose an undue financial and administrative burden on housing provider *Does not fundamentally alter the nature of the housing providers operation *The determination is made on a case by case basis

  20. Requesting an Accommodation • A reasonable accommodation must be requested • Request can be made at any time, by person with disability, family member or by someone else who is acting on their behalf • Request does not have to be in writing it can be orally or by any other effective method • Housing provider should place request in writing and document outcome and maintain records

  21. Verifying Reasonable Accommodations • May request documentation of the need – only to extent necessary to verify disability and if accommodation is needed • May not acquire confidential medical records or inquire into the nature or severity of persons disability • Verification of disability and need for accommodation can be from: Medical provider; Licensed Health provider; Professional representing social service agency; Disability agency or clinic; or other provider that can verify the disability

  22. Pet & Assistance Animal Policy • Assistance Animals – are not Pets • Assistance Animals – includes service animals and emotional support/therapy and comfort animals • If a “No pet policy” – include statement that this policy does not apply to Assistance animals

  23. Assistance Animals Continued • If Pet policy - need to include does not apply to assistance animals • Can not charge a pet deposit or a fee • Can require licensing and inoculations • Reasonable health and safety concerns. • Can require owner to clean-up after animal, and require that the animals are not a threat or a nuisance

  24. Reasonable Modifications What are reasonable modifications? What types of modifications are being installed? How are you receiving reasonable modification requests? Management and Maintenance? How are they being recorded?

  25. Reasonable Accommodations Difference between Fair Housing Act and Section 504: Tenant pays for reasonable modifications under the Fair Housing Act and Housing provider pays under Section 504 Multi-family projects fall under Section 504

  26. Unlawful Practices Refuse to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities Refuse to permit reasonable modifications for persons with disabilities Fail to design and construct accessible / adaptable housing which is ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 Failure to provide 5% fully accessible (UFAS Compliant) and 2% hearing and/or vision impaired units

  27. Fair Housing Guideline for Accessible Buildings Accessible entrances on accessible routes of travel Accessible public and common use areas Usable Doors Accessible routes within the dwelling unit Switches, outlets, and environmental controls Reinforced walls Usable kitchens and bathrooms

  28. Distribution of accessible units • Distributed throughout the project and sites and available in a range of sizes and amenities • Elevator not required for access • Recipients shall administer programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance in the most integrated settingappropriate to the needs of persons with disabilities

  29. Occupancy of accessible units • Vacant accessible units • First, must offer to an occupant with a disability that is currently in an non-accessible unit • Second, to a person with a disability that is on the waiting list

  30. Occupancy of accessible units • If the accessible unit is occupied by a person without a disability, the tenant can be required to agree to move to a non-accessible unit if the accessible unit is needed by a person with a disability • Agreement may be incorporated into the lease

  31. Transfer Policy • Ensure tenants are informed of policy • Especially inform tenants that if they are in a non-accessible unit they can request a transfer to an accessible unit • If have a transfer fee ensure not charging persons with disabilities to transfer from an inaccessible unit to an accessible unit

  32. What Housing is Covered? Four Units or more under the Fair Housing Act Five Units or more under Section 504 If owner uses a Broker, Real Estate Agent or Property Management Company

  33. Who is Not Covered? “For Sale By Owner” Single family homes sold or rented by owner who does not have interest in more than 3 single family homes at one time If owner not using a Broker, Real Estate Agent or Property Management Company

  34. Who is Not Covered? Mrs. Murphy: Dwellings with No more than 4 units if the owner resides in one of the dwelling units Housing for Older Persons – 62 or Older and 55 and Older-Familial Status Only Everyone is subject to Prohibitions Against Discriminatory Advertising

  35. Unlawful Activity Failure to Rent or Sell Steering Discriminatory Terms and Conditions Discriminatory Advertising Falsely Denying Housing is Available

  36. Application Intake & Waiting Lists • Application Process without discrimination • Applications should list correct race and ethnicity categories and ask if a person is disabled and if they need an accommodation • Accessible Offices & Materials • Provide reasonable accommodation information with application packets and at recertification • Waiting lists – date and time stamped. Be able to provide information regarding race/ethnicity and disability requirements and need for accessible unit

  37. Essential Terms of Tenancy Meeting the terms of the Lease: 1. Pay the rent on time 2. Maintain the unit 3. Obey the rules

  38. Tenant Selection & Assignment • Tenant Selection Plan – Eligibility & Screening Criteria • Ensure eligibility requirements and Screening Criteria are not discriminatory

  39. Prohibited Screening Criteria • Avoid criteria that could be discriminatory • Medical Evaluation or Treatment information • Inquiries about Disability status • Requirements by housing provider of capacity for Independent Living

  40. Denials • Denial letters include reason for rejection and right to request an appeal or hearing • Applicants with disabilities have the right to request reasonable accommodations to participate in a hearing • Mitigating circumstances to allow applicant to meet terms of tenancy or overcome negative screening

  41. Evictions • Eviction policy needs to be clear • Apply process consistently • Address any mitigating circumstances to the eviction – including reasonable accommodations for a person with a disability

  42. Recordkeeping • Maintain records and reports of efforts to meet the requirements of all Civil Rights Requirements • This includes following a consistent policy for maintenance requests • Keep records on file so they are available if a complaint is filed or a compliance review is conducted. • Document, Document, Document!

  43. Additional Requirements Under Section 504

  44. Section 504 Coordinator • A recipient that employs fifteen or more persons is required to designate at least one person to coordinate its efforts to comply with Section 504 • Ensure staff members know who the Section 504 Coordinator is, their duties and responsibilities • Identify the Section 504 Coordinator with contact information in all notifications, fact sheets, literature, brochures, housing applications, grievance procedure and on websites

  45. Grievance Procedure • A recipient that employs fifteen or more persons is required to adopt grievance procedures that incorporates appropriate due process standards, and that provides for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 • Provide an Appeal process • Identify Section 504 Coordinator by name and with all contact information

  46. Section 504 Notice • A recipient that employs fifteen or more persons is required to take appropriate steps to notify participants, beneficiaries and applicants, including those with impaired vision or hearing that it does not discriminate on the basis of disability • The notification must state that the recipient does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment in its federally assisted programs and activities

  47. Section 504 Notice • If a recipient publishes or uses recruitment materials or publications containing general information that it makes available to participants, beneficiaries, applicants or employees, it shall include in those materials or publications a statement of the nondiscrimination policy • A recipient may meet this requirement by either including appropriate inserts in existing materials or by revising and printing the materials and publications

  48. Section 504 Notice • The notification shall also include an identification of the recipients Section 504 Coordinator • Methods of continuing notification may include the posting of notices, publication in newspapers and magazines, placement of notices in recipients’ publications, and distribution of memoranda or other written communications

  49. Effective Communication • Communication with applicants, beneficiaries, and members of the public • Recipient furnishes appropriate auxiliary aids – provide a person with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of the program or activity

  50. Definition of Auxiliary Aids Services or devices that enable persons with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, programs or activities receiving Federal Financial assistance